FOUR of Port Adelaide’s most consistent performers have recommitted to the club with Dan Houston, Tom Clurey, Ryan Burton and Willem Drew agreeing to terms on respective contract extensions.
Houston, Burton and Drew had been contracted to the end of 2022 while Clurey opted to extend early despite being contracted until the end of 2023.
Houston’s five-year extension will see him remain at the club until at least the end of 2027 and importantly past his initial eligibility for free agency.
A rising star nominee in his debut season and member of the AFLPA’s 22under22 team in 2019, Houston also took out the Coaches’ Award and Gavin Wanganeen Medal for best player under 21 at the club’s 2018 Best and Fairest night.
Drafted as a forward in the 2016 rookie draft, Houston has become a reliable kick off half back and a valuable option on the wing and on ball.
“Dan has played 100 games now and is about to enter the prime of his career,” List Manager, Jason Cripps said.
“He has performed at a very consistent level for the past four seasons and is a member of our emerging leaders’ group.
“Dan is highly valued for his elite decision making and kicking skills.”
Since being drafted with pick 29 in the 2012 national draft, Clurey has become a regular part of Port Adelaide’s backline, playing 110 AFL games.
A strong lock-down player capable of playing on some of the best key forwards in the competition, Clurey’s two-year contract extension will see him tied to Port Adelaide until the end of 2025.
“Tom is an outstanding person and has shown faith in our program by recommitting early,” Cripps said of the 27-year-old.
“He has proven to be a reliable key defender and plays an important role in driving the standards of our defensive group.”
Burton has agreed a three-year extension, tying him to the club until the end of 2025.
Since arriving at Port Adelaide from Hawthorn as part of the 2018 AFL trade period, the powerful defender has played 48 games, taking his career total to 95.
“Ryan was a player we targeted a few years ago knowing he still had significant upside in his game,” Cripps said.
“He has the ability to play various roles within our system and has great attributes such as his speed and foot skills. He has built real consistency into his game and we look forward to seeing the next phase of his career at Alberton.”
Drew was ranked elite for tackles and pressure acts in a break-out year in 2021.
Foot injuries had previously stifled the midfielder’s opportunities at AFL level but after playing all 24 games last year, the North Ballarat product has become an integral part of Port Adelaide’s engine room.
His two-year extension will see him remain with the club until the end of 2024.
“Willem has had a fair bit of bad luck with injury since we drafted him back in 2016 but he has shown resilience and a strong work ethic to come back and play an important defensive role in our midfield since making his AFL debut in 2019,” Cripps said of the 23-year-old.
“With further opportunities through our midfield, he will continue to improve as the offensive part of his game evolves.”
The re-signing of Houston, Clurey, Burton and Drew follows news of contract extensions signed by first-year players Josh Sinn and Dante Visentini, and second-year forward Ollie Lord on Wednesday.